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Shock Waves in Liquid Metal Targets


Feasibility, Technological Development and Shock Hydrodynamic Modeling of Liquid Metal Targets in High Magnetic Fields for Nuclear Physics, High Energy Physics and Fusion Energy Applications

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-NGD/Fluid Mechanics and Gas Dynamics/Physics
  • PHY-PFA/Particles, Fields and Accelerator Physics/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
NIIEFA Efremov / Sintez STC, Russia, St Petersburg


  • Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), USA, IL, Argonne

Project summary

This Project is intended for complex study of liquid-metal jets interacting with high-energy flows and magnetic fields. The objectives of the Project are theoretical and experimental investigation of free-surface liquid-metal jet behavior under artificial shock waves and theoretical study of jet behavior under strong magnetic fields.

The work is concerned with solving the Muon Collider target device problem. The problem consists in development of a replaceable target that could withstand high-energy fluxes and strong magnetic fields. The concept of free-surface liquid-metal jet satisfying the target requirements was proposed to solve this problem. Such modeling concept of high-energy proton beam interaction with target consists in two tasks: first, delivering liquid-metal target into the solenoid (in point of interaction with the proton beam); second, interaction of proton beam with the liquid-metal target when deposited energy is partially transformed into radial shock waves (due to a high internal pressure), which results in disturbance of the jet surface and might cause its failure.

Furthermore, liquid-metal target concept is actually for another high-power nuclear and high-energy physics applications such as First Wall (FW) of Fusion Reactor, Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), and Isotope Separation on Line (ISOL). This is because the heat generated in solid targets/walls due to beam or plasma bombardment can not be removed easily and the resulting thermal shock damage could be a serious lifetime problem for long-time operation. The liquid targets can be in the form of high-speed moving jets, moving walls or stationary pools. Free-surface liquid-metal jets can offer significant advantages over conventional solid targets, particularly for the more demanding and challenging high-power applications. However, the use of free-moving liquid-metal targets brings up a number of new and challenging problems such as instabilities of the jet in a strong magnetic field, induced eddy current effects on jet shape, thermal shock formation, and possible fragmentation of the jet. These problems could be solved partially in the framework of the Project.

The strategy of the Project fulfillment is based on the coordinated realization of the theoretical analysis, numerical modeling and experimental investigations. Shock hydrodynamic and heat influence on liquid-metal jets will be simulated by high-current impulse discharge inside the jet. It will provide the possibility to change shock loads in a wide range. The experimental facility with the free-surface liquid-metal jet with simulation tools and required diagnostics will be constructed for experimental modeling of the Project. The numerical modeling will be performed mostly by original effective computer codes.

The Project will give more profound understanding of the physical processes determining the behavior of liquid-metal jet entering the strong magnetic field under intensive energy deposition therein, as well as modeling of these processes and prediction of their quantitative characteristics.

The basis for successful implementation of the Project is wide experience acquired by the Efremov Institute (NIIEFA) in researching and developing liquid-metal jets, creating strong pulse magnetic fields, complex study of high-speed processes, numerical modeling of pulse magnetic field - metal interaction, researching of hydrodynamics instabilities, etc.

Generally, the works under the Projects should be assigned to the field of applied research. The results of these investigations might be used in a number of promising fission and fusion applications. Of special interest they are for the fields of high-energy physics. In particular, they could be applied while developing the new concept of the target for the Muon Collider, which is responsible for significant lifetime of the target interacting with the powerful high-energy proton beam. The works under the Project might serve as the Russian contribution to the international cooperation in this field.

It is expected that the submitted Project will contribute to accomplishing the following ISTC goals: retaining highly professional staff of the involved research institution; development of the conversion activities of the involved institution; participation of Russian scientists previously engaged in military researches in international peaceful research and development cooperation.

Russian participants of the Project are interested in cooperation with international collaborators in the following directions: scientific-technical information exchange during implementation of the Project; rendering assistance to participants of the Project in attending international workshops on this and related fields; organization of joint meetings and working groups.


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